And I'm appreciating home now more than ever before because we almost didn't have a place to come home to.
The afternoon we were on our way home, a tanker of ethanol exploded on the train tracks near our house. We were en route, but apparently every home and business within a 1/2 mile radius was evacuated as the tanker melted into a twisted mass of molten metal. The fear: more explosions. One truck on fire is enough, but the inferno in question raged between two trains pulling 13 tanker cars full of ethanol and another 9 cars of gasoline. And, standing just behind the train tracks, there was a field of holding bins filled with anhydrous ammonia. In retrospect, a 1/2 mile blast radius was not enough. Had the tankers ignited, it would have gouged a hole in the earth where our lovely little town used to be.
I don't think I can really even grasp how dangerous the whole situation was. It's unfathomable, almost Armaggedon-like somehow. I keep imagining what it would have been like to roll into town at 3 am and find the mall, the city offices, Fareway... all gone. Terrifying.
I am so grateful for our local fire department and the 6 others that continually pumped water on the remaining tankers to keep them from igniting. (Apparently the fuel in the closest tankers was actually boiling.) I feel indebted to our rescue teams for their quick response and determination. I'm overwhelmed by the compassion of the men and women who fought to save the life of the truck driver. And I am so thankful that the Lord saw fit to spare our town a tragedy of epic proportions.
It all makes a great story, but praise the Lord that a different outcome exists only in my imagination and not in reality. Hmmm... do I see a book in all this?